We sat down with Frank Mccleary, Partner, Porsche Consulting, to find out his predictions for mobility in 2023.

“As the automotive industry recovers from supply chain challenges and the prospect of a limited recession in the US and Europe, new vehicle sales will recover to pre-pandemic levels.

Adoption and Messaging New OEMs like Rivian and Lucid continue to push the adoption of autonomous technology as they introduce their new products. Existing OEMs are quickly trying to catch up. Recently Mercedes gained certification of their Level 3 system in Nevada and will be requesting certification in California soon. The critical differentiator from just a few years ago is that the messaging is around improved safety and reduction of traffic accidents vs convenience. However, Tesla is pursuing a markedly different path, releasing a Full Self Driving-branded version of its software for public use despite the fact the system still requires driver input and attention. Tesla not only continues to shun LiDAR, but has also removed radar sensors from its vehicles, relying exclusively on camera vision.

Shuttles taking a back seat

“While development of autonomous shuttles is still ongoing, one player that has slowed down is major OEMs.

Ford and VW decided not to invest further in Argo AI leading to its shuttering. While VW still has agreements with Mobileye, Ford went as far as shifting their strategy away from autonomous shuttles. Suppliers like ZF will fill this gap, building the tech stack and taking the next step of building the vehicles as well. However, autonomous delivery vehicles are becoming an area of strategic investment, with companies like uDelv and Nuro attracting substantial capital (the latter recently signing a deal with Uber for its UberEats business).”

What’s Next?

“Level 2 and a more limited volume of Level 3 equipped vehicles will become more mainstream with the prospects of Level 4 further out as suppliers get more vehicles with more mature (radar and LiDAR) sensor arrays on the road. In 2023, more OEMs such as BMW and Stellantis are expected to release level 3 autonomous vehicles, and it’s possible that we will see more models from Mercedes as well. Additionally, more countries in Europe, including the UK, are likely to permit the use of level 3 autonomous vehicles on their roads. In Germany, a change in UNECE regulation that comes into effect in January may result in an increase of the level 3 speed limit from 60kph to 130kph. However, it is more uncertain when and if level three will be implemented on a broader scale in the US and China, as the governing bodies in these countries have not been as open and clear in their plans for level 3 autonomous vehicles as UNECE has. Furthermore, the first commercial routes for autonomous trucks without a driver could be available, likely starting with single routes (as demonstrated by TuSimple in the US).”

Explore more predictions

You can explore more predictions from global thought leaders and visionaries who are shaping the future of mobility, liveable cities and sustainable Transport in our Global Thought Leaders Predictions for Mobility 2023 report.